2018 Tennessee Code
Title 71 - Welfare
Chapter 6 - Programs and Services for Abused Persons
Part 1 - Adult Protection
§ 71-6-102. Part definitions.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 71-6-102 (2018)
  • As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
  • (1)

    • (A) "Abuse or neglect" means the infliction of physical pain, injury, or mental anguish, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker that are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult or a situation in which an adult is unable to provide or obtain the services that are necessary to maintain that person's health or welfare. Nothing in this part shall be construed to mean a person is abused or neglected or in need of protective services for the sole reason that the person relies on or is being furnished treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with a recognized religious method of healing in lieu of medical treatment; further, nothing in this part shall be construed to require or authorize the provision of medical care to any terminally ill person if such person has executed an unrevoked living will in accordance with the Tennessee Right to Natural Death Act, compiled in title 32, chapter 11, and if the provision of such medical care would conflict with the terms of such living will;

    • (B) "Abuse or neglect" means transporting an adult and knowingly abandoning, leaving or failing to provide additional planned transportation for the adult if the adult's caretaker knows, or should know, that:

      • (i) The adult is unable to protect or care for himself or herself without assistance or supervision; and

      • (ii) The caretaker's conduct causes any of the results listed in subdivision (1)(A) or creates a substantial risk of such results;

  • (2) "Adult" means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who because of mental or physical dysfunctioning or advanced age is unable to manage such person's own resources, carry out the activities of daily living, or protect such person from neglect, hazardous or abusive situations without assistance from others and who has no available, willing, and responsibly able person for assistance and who may be in need of protective services; provided, however, that a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who is mentally impaired but still competent shall be deemed to be a person with mental dysfunction for the purposes of this chapter;

  • (3) "Advanced age" means sixty (60) years of age or older;

  • (4) "Capacity to consent" means the mental ability to make a rational decision, which includes the ability to perceive, appreciate all relevant facts and to reach a rational judgment upon such facts. A decision itself to refuse services cannot be the sole evidence for finding the person lacks capacity to consent;

  • (5) "Caretaker":

    • (A) Means an individual or institution who has assumed the duty to provide for the care of the adult by contract or agreement;

    • (B) Includes a parent, spouse, adult child or other relative, both biological or by marriage, who:

      • (i) Resides with or in the same building with or regularly visits the adult;

      • (ii) Knows or reasonably should know of the adult's mental or physical dysfunction or advanced age; and

      • (iii) Knows or reasonably should know that the adult is unable to adequately provide for the adult's own care; and

    • (C) Does not mean a financial institution as a caretaker of funds or other assets unless such financial institution has entered into an agreement to act as a trustee of such property or has been appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction to act as a trustee with regard to the property of the adult;

  • (6) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services;

  • (7) "Department" means the department of human services;

  • (8) "Exploitation" means the improper use by a caretaker of funds that have been paid by a governmental agency to an adult or to the caretaker for the use or care of the adult;

  • (9) "Imminent danger" means conditions calculated to and capable of producing within a relatively short period of time a reasonable probability of resultant irreparable physical or mental harm or the cessation of life, or both, if such conditions are not removed or alleviated;

  • (10) "Investigation" includes, but is not limited to, a personal interview with the individual reported to be abused, neglected, or exploited. When abuse or neglect is allegedly the cause of death, a coroner's or doctor's report shall be examined as part of the investigation;

  • (11) "Protective services" means services undertaken by the department with or on behalf of an adult in need of protective services who is being abused, neglected, or exploited. These services may include, but are not limited to, conducting investigations of complaints of possible abuse, neglect, or exploitation to ascertain whether or not the situation and condition of the adult in need of protective services warrants further action; social services aimed at preventing and remedying abuse, neglect, and exploitation; services directed toward seeking legal determination of whether the adult in need of protective services has been abused, neglected or exploited and procurement of suitable care in or out of the adult's home;

  • (12) "Relative" means spouse; child, including stepchild, adopted child or foster child; parents, including stepparents, adoptive parents or foster parents; siblings of the whole or half-blood; step-siblings; grandparents; grandchildren, of any degree; and aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; and

  • (13) "Sexual abuse" occurs when an adult, as defined in this chapter, is forced, tricked, threatened or otherwise coerced by a person into sexual activity, involuntary exposure to sexually explicit material or language, or sexual contact against such adult's will. Sexual abuse also occurs when an adult, as defined in this chapter, is unable to give consent to such sexual activities or contact and is engaged in such activities or contact with another person.

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